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To what extent do hospitalised patients receive appropriate CT and MRI scans? Results of a cross-sectional study in Southern Italy

13 Feb 2018

Objectives

The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of appropriateness of inpatient CT and MRI scans performed in Southern Italy.

Methods

The study was carried out by retrospectively reviewing medical records of adult patients admitted between 1 January and 31 December 2012 in two hospitals. The evaluation of appropriateness was performed according to the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria, which assigns a score between 1 and 9.

Results

Eight hundred and fifty-three medical records were reviewed. Six hundred and thirty-nine patients received CT examinations and 256 received MRI examinations. Four hundred and ninety-six (77.6%) of the patient population had appropriate CT and 202 (78.9%) received appropriate MRI examinations. The appropriateness was associated with: a confirmation of the diagnostic hypothesis, only one examination performed during hospital stay, the anatomical scan region, with musculoskeletal system being the least appropriate anatomical scan region. Moreover, for CT examinations, appropriateness was also associated with no use of contrast agent.

Conclusions

Our findings highlight the need to reduce inappropriate use of CT and MRI. The study showed that the tool used is reliable to measure the extent of appropriateness of diagnostic imaging for inpatient examinations.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open